Darren Everett Criss is a well-known American actor, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for playing ‘Andrew Cunanan’in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ (2018) for which he received a ‘Golden Globe’ and ‘Emmy Award.’He came into prominence with his portrayal of ‘Blaine Anderson’ in the popular American musical comedy-drama series 'Glee.'‘Blaine Anderson’ is the lead vocalist of a fictional band called ‘Glee's Dalton Academy Warblers.’A song titled 'This Time,' which Crisswrote for the final episode of the series, became a hit and got him nominated for an ‘Emmy.’ Also a successful theater actor, he has been acting in plays from ayoung age. He made his Broadway debut in a production of 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying' which was based on a humorous book of the same name. He also played the role of ‘Hedwig’ in the musical 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch.' He is the founding member and co-owner of ‘StarKid Productions,’ a Chicago-based musical theater company. The company became famous for its musical 'A Very Potter Musical,' a parody of the popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. The musical, where Criss portrayed ‘Harry Potter,’ earned huge popularity. Crisshas also appeared in films.He made his feature film debut in 2012 when he was cast to play ‘Lee’ in the American comedy film'Girl Most Likely.'He then went on to voice animated characters in films like ‘The Wind Rises’ and ‘Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’ In 2020, it was revealed that Darren Criss would voice 'Superman' in the animated superhero film ‘Superman: Man of Tomorrow.’
Childhood & Early Life
Darren Criss was born on 5 February 1987, in San Francisco, California, USA,toCerina and Charles William Criss. He has an older brother named Charles Criss who is a member of the indie rock band ‘Freelance Whales.’
He grew up in San Francisco, while also spending some time in Honolulu. Criss developed an interest in music at a very young age. When he was only five years old, he began taking violin lessons. He also learnt to play other instruments, such as guitar and piano.
Along with music, he also showed keen interest in performing arts. He was accepted into the ‘American Conservatory Theater’ at the age of ten. He appeared in theater classics, such as ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Diary of Anne Frank.’
After completing his graduation from ‘Saint Ignatius College Preparatory,’ he attended the ‘University of Michigan,’ from where he got his Bachelor of Fine Arts. He did his major in theater performance, and minored in musicology and Italian. While studying, he was also active as an actor and director in ‘Basement Arts,’ the university’s student-run theater program.
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Darren Criss made his professional stage debut at the age of ten. His first appearance was in 42nd Street Moon’s production of the play ‘Fanny’ (1997), where he portrayed ‘Cesario.’He then appeared in musicals, such as ‘Do I Hear a Waltz’ (1998) and ‘Babes in Arms’ (1999).
Over the next few years, he appeared in several ‘American Conservatory Theater’ plays, including ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ The plays in which he performed at the ‘University of Michigan’ include ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan.’
After finishing his graduation, Criss co-founded the musical theater company ‘StarKid Productions’ along with a few friends and classmates. It gained prominence when they staged the musical comedy ‘A Very Potter Musical,’ which was based on the famous ‘Harry Potter’ novel series by JK Rowling.
In January 2012, he made his Broadway debut, appearing in a revival of the popular play ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.’ His work proved to be very successful. In 2015, he appeared in the play ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch,’ playing the role of ‘Hedwig.’
TV and Film Career
Darren Criss became well-known after his work in the American musical comedy drama TV series ‘Glee.’ The series had him playing one of the main roles. His performance in the show was appreciated and earned him multiple awards.
He made his feature film debut inthe 2012 comedy film ‘Girl Most Likely.’ The film was directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. It received negative reviews
In 2018, he started appearing in the second season of the popular American anthology series ‘American Crime Story.’ In the series, created by Ryan Murphy, Criss portrayed a character named ‘Andrew Cunanan.’ The series has earned critical acclaim and several awards so far.
In 2020, he was seen playing ‘Raymond Ainsley’ in the American drama web television miniseries ‘Hollywood,’ for which he also served as the executive producer.
He has also voiced characters in animated films like ‘The Wind Rises,’ ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,’ ‘Stan Lee's Mighty 7,’ and ‘Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’
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Darren Criss started his musical career when he was still pursuing his educationat the ‘University of Michigan.’ In 2010, he released an EP titled ‘Human.’ It peaked at number 17 on the ‘US Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums Chart.’ He has also conducted solo tours in several states in the US, as well as in Canada and France.
As ‘Blaine Anderson,’ the character that he played in the TV series ‘Glee,’Criss has been featured in several musical performances. He has also worked in several albums as part of the series’fictional band.
‘A Very Potter Musical,’ a parody musical based on the popular ‘Harry Potter’ novel series by JK Rowling, is undoubtedly one of the best works in his career.The musical stars Darren Criss as ‘Harry Potter.’Criss also wrote the lyrics and composed the music along with AJ Holmes. Produced by ‘StarKid Productions,’ the musical earned huge success and popularity. It was named one of the ‘10 Best Viral Videos of 2009’ by ‘Entertainment Weekly.’
‘Glee,’ a popular American musical comedy drama TV series, can be considered the most significant work in Criss’ career. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, the show started airing on 19 May 2009. It became a huge success and won several awards, including six ‘Emmy Awards,’ five ‘Satellite Awards,’ and four ‘Golden Globe Awards.’ The show also received mostly positive reviews.
Awards & Achievements
Darren Criss has won several awards in his career so far. These include the ‘Dorian Award’ and the ‘Teen Choice Award’ for his role in ‘Glee’ in 2011.
For the song ‘This Time,’ which he composed for ‘Glee,’Criss won the ‘Hollywood Music in Media Award’ in 2015. The song earned him an ‘Emmy’ nomination as well.
He was nominated for a ‘Grammy’ for his work in ‘Glee: The Music, Volume 4,’ the fifth soundtrack album of ‘Glee.’
For his portrayal of ‘Andrew Cunanan’ in the series ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,’ he won a ‘Primetime Emmy Award,’‘Golden Globe Award,’ and‘Screen Actors Guild Award.’
Since Darren Criss portrayed a gay character in ‘Glee,’ there was a rumorregarding his sexual orientation. Criss is heterosexual and had been dating Mia Swier since 2011.In2018, he announced his engagement toSwier.The couple got married in February 2019.
He is an active supporter of LGBT rights. He has also performed at several charity events.